I’ve been here for 5 days now and have had no time to write as I have been so busy working on our apartments.  However, yesterday I took my cousin to see Rome.  After all, she has never been to Italy and it is less than an hour away from our house. 

St Peters Square

Lining Up in St Peters Square

It’s late October… we are pressing hard on low season here, but Rome was flooded with tourists.  As we walked down the streets, all we heard was English and German.  Every time we got near an ‘attraction’, it felt like we were at Disneyland on a Saturday in June.  The line to get into St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican consisted of tens of thousands of people.  Everywhere we went was crowded beyond belief.  You just couldn’t enjoy a thing, and this is LATE OCTOBER!  Ugh!

Tourist Trap at the Trevi Fountain in Rome

The Trevi Fountain obscured by Junk Souvenirs

The tourist trap stands were out in force, and since it was raining a little on and off, there were armies of people trying to force umbrellas on us.  Do people actually buy plastic St. Peter’s

snow globes?  I mean, where do they put this stuff when the get home, anyway? 

 It was all just over the top.  Maybe I was just tired, but it really showed what i always say about the touristy areas of Italy:  They were once beautiful places, but have been destroyed by the ravages of mass tourism.  The real Italy… the experience that really leaves you wanting to come back over and over… can only be found in the villages outside the cities.

Countryside at the Umbria and Latium border in Italy

Home Sweet Home

As we left Rome last night, a sense of relief swept my body.  The closer I got to home, the better I felt.  I got home, went to bed, and woke up at sunrise.  I made my coffee and went outside.  After snapping pictures of the tourist traps of Rome all day yesterday, I couln’t help but snap a picture of the Alto Lazio and Umbria countryside at dawn from my house… such a contrast.  No plastic towers of Pisa here.  Just nature, peace and quiet.  Ahhhhhh.